Frank Franklin II / AP
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Horse-drawn carriages could soon be circulating through downtown Las Vegas if the City Council signs off on proposed routes at its meeting at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The council will also receive an update on a proposal to combine services with North Las Vegas to cut costs and will consider a liquor license for a new downtown grocery store. The meeting will be at Las Vegas City Hall, 495 S. Main St.
Horse-drawn carriages have a troubled history in Las Vegas, but they could soon be back on the roadways as another tourist attraction in the redeveloping downtown area.
Horse-drawn carriages were banned on the Strip and in downtown following a 1985 accident where four people were injured. The tourists were thrown from the carriage when a horse was spooked and ran across six lanes of traffic on Las Vegas Boulevard.
The city council reversed the ban in 2007 after lobbying from a company wanting to bring horse-drawn carriages back to downtown. That business folded in 2012, leaving an opening applicants Yovanys Serrano and Margarita Reyes hope to capitalize on.
The two are requesting the city’s permission to operate horse drawn carriages in an area between Main Street and Maryland Parkway and from Stewart Avenue to Bonneville Avenue. The carriages would not be allowed on Fremont Street or Las Vegas Boulevard, with time-based restrictions on access to other streets.
On Tuesday, the council will review the proposed route and vote whether to approve them. The city already has rules in place restricting how long horses can work, how hot it can be outside and how often the animals get a break.
Shared services update
In November, Las Vegas and North Las Vegas embarked on a unique partnership where the two cities agreed to work together to share services between their different departments.
The goal was to find ways to cut costs and improve efficiencies. The two cities gave themselves six months to identify areas with the best opportunity for collaboration and are expected to report back on their findings next month. On Wednesday, the City Council will get one more update on the staff’s progress. The need to share services is less urgent after North Las Vegas solved many of its financial woes last week. But the opportunity to save money is something neither government will likely pass on with budgets still constrained due to effects from the recession.
Liquor license for downtown grocery store
Plans for a new downtown grocery store will come before the City Council Wednesday when they consider whether to approve a liquor license for the business.
The proposed 6,448 square foot market would be a first for downtown. Plans submitted to the city say the store will sell “natural, organic and conventional groceries” in addition to beer, wine and liquor. The store would also stock ready-to-go sandwiches and meals.
Workers have gutted the interiors of two buildings over the past month to prepare the site for the grocery store. The buildings used to house a Mexican restaurant and a deli.
The city has blocked new package liquor applications along parts of Fremont Street but not where this store would be located.